ZIMSOFF and the Shashe Agro-Ecology School in Zimbabwe

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While it is now widely acknowledged that a smallholder-based, agro-ecological food production system is the best way to eradicate hunger and to reduce the impact of agriculture on climate change, less attention is given to the role farmers play in sharing the lessons they have learned. Building on a farmer-to-farmer approach, the Zimbabwe Organic Smallholder Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF) is interested in training community facilitators and trainers, helping them develop a horizontal and participatory learning system.

A member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Smallholder Farmers’ Forum (ESAFF) and of La Via Campesina, ZIMSOFF was founded in 2002 during the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg, South Africa. ZIMSOFF is an organisation of small-scale farmers, in which all the positions of responsibility are held by farmers. Its vision is to improve the livelihoods of small-scale farmers and empower them to defend their rights.

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El Salvador: Reforms to the Law Governing the Control of Pesticides, Fertilisers and Farming Products

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The 5th September marks a milestone in Salvadoran agriculture after the Legislative Assembly implemented reforms to the law governing the control of pesticides, fertilisers and farming products.

With 45 votes – that is to say, a simple majority – the legislators passed the decision to ban the import, sale and use of chemical products and insecticides considered harmful to health. This law should be implemented gradually over two years, resulting in a complete ban of these products which will have to be replaced by more environmentally-friendly ones.

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Yet another UN report calls for support for peasant farming and agroecology: it's time for action

Media release of  La Via Campesina ∕ Grain ∕ ETC

unctad.jpg(Harare, 23 September 2013) La Vía Campesina, GRAIN and ETC welcome a new UNCTAD report which states that farming in rich and poor nations alike should shift from monoculture towards greater varieties of crops, reduced use of fertilizers and other inputs, greater support for small-scale farmers, and more locally focused production and consumption of food. More than 60 international experts contributed to the report, launched last week.

UNCTAD's 2013 Trade and Environment Report ("Wake up before it is too late: make agriculture truly sustainable now for food security in a changing climate") states that monoculture and industrial farming methods are not providing sufficient affordable food where it is needed, while causing mounting and unsustainable environmental damage.

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Agroecology as a way of life

Organizations join forces to strengthen the fight for food sovereignty.

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“Food is not a commodity but a human right, recognized by states through different legal instruments. By recognizing this right, states have the obligation to respect, protect and guarantee the people’s right to food — especially of food producers — to guarantee the right to decent work and employment as well as to a fair wage, based on the principles of social justice and human dignity,” states the declaration of the First Assembly of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The meeting, held on Aug 6 and 7 in Bogota, Colombia, was called by various regional organizations engaged in the fight for food sovereignty, including the Latin American Coordination of Rural Organizations-La Vía Campesina, the Agroecological Movement of Latin America and the Caribbean and the Pesticide Action Network, among others.

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